We’ll REALLY be happy the day all companies provide these benefits!
We already knew Pinterest is the place to go for activity ideas for your growing family. It turns out Pinterest—on a company level—is also the place to be for employer support while growing that family: In a statement this week, the executives behind Pinterest announced they are rolling out a generous adoption and surrogacy benefit program in July.
Inspired by an employee who shared his struggle with the surrogacy process, the upcoming benefit plan from Pinterest will grant any employee going through the adoption process up to $5,000 in net benefits or any employee working with a surrogate up to $20,000 in net benefits—which are intended to cover travel costs, legal fees and “any other related expenses."
Paired with Pinterest's existing 16-week paid parental leave program, it's clear they are committed to building an inclusive workplace for all families. And that's not the mention the advantages the company should also see, says Georgene Huang, co-founder of Fairygodboss, a job review site for women.
“Among the Fairygodboss community, we observe that when women work for a company supportive of their overall life goals—such as Pinterest's new surrogacy and adoption benefits—we tend to see higher reports of job satisfaction and an increased likelihood that they would recommend their company to others," she tells Motherly.
In announcing their program, Pinterest joins other tech companies such as Google, Amazon and Facebook at the front of the pack when it comes to adoption and/or fertility benefits. Across all industries, the 2017 Adoption Friendly Workplace Survey ranked Ferring Pharmaceuticals at No. 1, due to their amazing $25,000 in support and 5.5 weeks paid leave. (No comparable surveys are available for employer surrogacy benefits.)
But, while we completely applaud the examples set by these companies, we do hope to see the benefits become more mainstream than oh, my!
The good news is we're heading in the right direction: According to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, a 1990 survey from Aon Hewitt found only 12% of companies offered financial adoption benefits. By 2017, more than half of the companies surveyed offered financial adoption benefits of some type. (Again, we weren't able to find any comparable studies for employer surrogacy benefits, but it certainly also seems to be on an improving trajectory.)
For those who grow their families by adoption or surrogacy, the significance of these improving policies is, of course, even deeper. Kayla Craig, who adopted one child internationally and one child through a domestic special needs program, says the benefits of financial support from an employer cannot be understated.
“Finances are the number one reason many families who are open to adoption never follow through. And many families who do say yes are left with debt," she tells Motherly. “Alleviating some of the financial burden is an incredible way for a company to show they value their employees and employees' families on a personal level, no matter how those families are formed." ?